GOP Nomination: Ron Paul is not Taking the Gloves off and still Has Cards to Play
The diligent four years grass-roots organizing work is paying off for Ron Paul. On Sunday, at the Nevada Republican Party convention, his supporters chanted enthusiastic “President Paul”. On Sunday, the Texas congressman won an astonishing 22 national convention delegates versus six for Romney. The Republican national convention will be held in Tampa, Florida between August 27th and August 30th. This, if nothing else, will give Ron Paul a powerful voice, even so a Romney nomination is more than likely.Paul, now Romney’s only GOP opponent, has pledged to stay in the race through the convention in Tampa.
However, the Paul campaign rejected the possibility of waging a battle at the national convention to unbind the Nevada delegates from having to vote for Romney. Carl Bunce, the Nevada chairman of Paul’s campaign, adopted a conciliatory tone on Sunday, and said that Ron Paul’s goal was to defeat President Obama in November, not to be a divisive factor within the GOP. “I do not want this party to fall apart. We are building a stronger party, we need to stay united. Just because you have the power doesn’t mean you always have to wield it. Just because you have the sword doesn’t mean you have to strike,” said Bunce. Regardless of Bunce’s statement, some Paul supporters are hoping that there might be a brokered convention where the nomination fight goes beyond the first ballot, opening the way for Paul to win.
Paul is very much behind Romney in the delegates count, with a bit less than 100 against 856 for Romney- according to a count by AP. Romney is still 288 delegates short of the 1,144 that he needs to get the nomination. With Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich out of the race, Ron Paul is the last man standing in the way of Mitt Romney’s nomination. Romney could get around 100 delegates in Tuesday’s primaries in North Carolina, West Virginia and Indiana. But even if Romney remains the “inevitable” GOP nominee in the eyes of most, Ron Paul has made some gains in recent days. Adding to his sweep in Nevada, Paul took 11 delegates away from Romney in Maine when the Texas congressman supporters won control of the Maine GOP convention on Sunday and elected Paul delegates to the Republican party national convention.
Ron Paul’s decision to stay in the race until the national convention will give him the opportunity to address important issues ignored by most US politicians and mainstream media. For example, Paul is a vehement opponent of CISPA ( Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), which he views as another instrument to attack free speech protected by the First amendment of the US constitution. Last Friday, in San Diego, Ron Paul got a standing ovation after attacking the ongoing effort by the Federal government to censor the Internet. “Without the first amendment, it is very difficult for us to get our message out, and I want to make sure the first amendment is protected on the Internet as well. The first amendment wasn’t written so that you can talk about the weather, it was written so that you can talk about controversial things and even challenge our own government,” said Paul.
Editor’s Note: All photographs by Gage Skidmore.